broadcasting, television, pentecostalism, politics, miracles, deregulation


Nigeria is home to a vibrant media marketplace. Excluding more than a hundred titles of daily tabloids and weekly newspapers, there is a densely saturated broadcast industry consisting of radio, television (terrestrial, satellite, pay per view and cable channels) and video-film in Nigeria. Since the deregulation of the broadcast industry in 1992 with the issuing of broadcast licences to individuals and groups, the country has witnessed a burgeoning growth such that at the beginning of 2008, there were about 284 broadcasting stations in Nigeria. Since then, more licenses have been approved and issued, indicating a further expansion in the industry. Focusing on the practices and policies of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) vis-à-vis religious broadcasting in a multi-religious society, this paper investigates the politics, policies and processes of regulating deregulation within the industry which have raised some controversies in recent times, particularly with reference to what the NBC calls “unverified miracles”.


Adeboye, Enoch. 1994. I Know who I Am, Lagos: CRM Books.

Akintunde, Stephen A. 1995. “The Status of Broadcasting Libraries in Nigeria (A Study of Bauchi and Plateau States)”, International Information & Library Review, vol. 27: 283-293.

Akinwumi, Olayemi, Sati U. Fwatshak and Okpeh O. Okpeh Jnr (eds). 2007.Historical Perspectives on Nigeria’s Post-Colonial Conflates, Lagos: The Historical Society of Nigeria.

Alozie, Emmanuel C. 2003. “Critical Analysis of Cultural Values Found in Nigerian Mass Media Advertisements”, SIMILE: Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education, vol. 3, no. 4: 1-12.

Alozie, Emmanuel C. 2005. Cultural Reflections and the Role of Advertising in the Socio-Economic Development of Nigeria, Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Chukwuma, Michael. 1985. Nigerian Politics and the Role of Religion: An Analysis of the Role of Religion in Nigerian Politics at the Early Stages of National Integration, Bon: Rheinschen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität.

Cockburn, Robert, P. N. Newton, E. K. Agyarko, D. Akunyili and J. White. 2005. “The Global Threat of counterfeit Drugs: Why Industry and Governments Must Communicate the Dangers”, PloS Medicine, 2(4), e100: 0302-0308.

Courtright, Jeffrey L. 1996. “An Ethics Code Postmortem: The National Religious Broadcasters’ EFICOM”, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, vol. 11, no. 4: 223-235.

Erhun, W.O, O.O. Babalola, and M.O. Erhun. 2001. “Drug Regulation and control in Nigeria: The Challenges of counterfeit drugs”, Journal of Health & Population in Developing Countries, 4(2): 23-34.

Esan, Oluyinka. 2009. Nigerian Television: Fifty Years of Television in Africa, Princeton, New Jersey: AMV Publishing.

Falola, Toyin and Matthew M. Heaton. 2008. A History of Nigeria, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gaiya, Musa A. B.2002. “The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria”, Occasional paper, Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Hackett, Rosalind I. J. 1998. “Charismatic/Pentecostal Appropriation of Media Technologies in Nigeria and Ghana”, Journal of Religion in Africa, XXVIII/3: 258-277.

Hackett, Rosalind I. J. 2001. “Prophets, ‘False prophet’, and the African State: Emergent Issues of Religious Freedom and Conflict, Nova Religio, 4/2, April: 187-212.

Hackett, Rosalind I. J. 2006. “Mediated Religion in South Africa: Balancing Airtime and Rights Claims” in Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors (eds), Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press: 164-187.

Harnischfeger, Johannes. 2008. Democratization and Islamic Law: The Sharia Conflict in Nigeria, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.

Ihejirika, Walter C. 2006a. From Catholicism to Pentecostalism: Role of Nigerian Televangelists in Religious Conversion, Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.

Ihejirika, Walter C. 2006b. “Religious Broadcasting and the Nigerian Media Laws”, Journal of Religion and Culture, vol.7/1: 127-141.

Kalu, Ogbu. 2008. African Pentecostalism: An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Laniel, Laurent. 2001. “Drugs in Southern Africa: Business as Usual”, International Social Science Journal, vol. 53: 407-414.

Lyons, P. Andrew and Harriet D. Lyons. 1991. “Religion and the Mass Media”, in Jacob K. Olupona and Toyin Falola (eds), Religion and Society in Nigeria: Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd: 97-128.

Magbadelo, John Olushola. 2004. ”Pentecostalism in Nigeria: Exploiting or Edifying the Masses?“, African Sociological Review, vol. 8(2): 15-29.

Mohammed, Bala Jubril, 1994. “Democratization and the Challenge of Private Broadcasting in Nigeria”, Africa Media Review, vol. 8, No. 1: 81-95.

Musa, Bala, 2000. “Pluralism and Prior Restraint on Religious Communication in Nigeria: Policy versus Praxis”, in Joel Thierstein and Yahya R. Kamalipour (eds), Religion, law, and Freedom: A Global Perspective, London: Praeger: 98-111.

Obadare, Ebenezer. 2006. “Pentecostal Presidency? The Lagos-Ibadan ‘Theocratic’ Class and the Muslim ‘Other’”, Review of African Political Economy, vol. 110: 665-678.

Onwumechili, Chuka. 2007. “Nigeria: Equivocating while Opening the Broadcast Liberalization Gates”, in Isaac A. Blackson and Patrick D. Murphy (eds), Negotiating Democracy: Media Transformations in Emerging Democracies, Albany: State University of New York Press: 123-142.

Parsitau, Damaris Seleina. 2006. “’Then Sings My Soul’: Gospel Music as Popular Culture in the Spiritual Lives of Kenyan Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians”, Journal of Religious and Popular Culture, vol. XIV, Fall, (accessed 20.06.2008).

Phiri, Isabel Apawo. 2003. “President Frederick J.T. Chiluba of Zambia: The Christian Nation and Democracy”, Journal of Religion in Africa, 33/4:401-428.

Price, Monroe E. 1994. “The Market for Loyalties: Electronic Media and the Global Competition for Allegiance”, Yale Law Journal, vol. 104, no. 3: 667-705.

Price, Monroe E. 1995. Television: The Public sphere and National Identity, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Price, Monroe E. 2002. Media and Sovereignty: The Global Information Revolution and Its Challenge to State Power, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Price, Monroe E. 2003. “Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of International Broadcasting”, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, vol. 51: 51-85.

Price, Monroe E. 2007. “Religious Communication and Its Relation to the State: Comparative Perspectives”, in A. Sajo (ed.), Censorial Sensibilities: Free Speech and Religion in a Fundamentalist World, Netherlands Eleven International Publishing: 85-106.

Rivers, Patrick Lynn. 2006. “Governing Sounds: Hate, Race, and Responsibility in Post- Apartheid Broadcasting”, Critical Studies in Media Communication, vol.23, no. 3: 219-231.

Shehu, Abdullahi Y. 2005. “Combating Corruption in Nigeria – Bliss or Bluster?” Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 12(1): 69-87.

Stolow, Jeremy. 2005. ”Religion and/as Media“, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 22/4: 119-145.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2002. “’Reklame für Gott: Religiös Werbung in Nigeria’. In Tobias Wendl (ed) Afrikanische Reklamekunst, Wuppertal: Peter Hammer Verlag GmbH: 148- 153.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2003. “The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Nigeria. Local Identities and Global Processes in African Pentecostalism”, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Bayreuth/Germany.

Ukah, Asonzeh.2004. “Religiös Propaganda in Afrika’, in Dieter Kramer & Wendelin Schmidt (eds.), Plakate in Afrika, Frankfurt/M: Museum der Weltkulturen: 83-88.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2005. “Branding God: Advertising and the Pentecostal Industry in Nigeria”, LIWURAM: Journal of the Humanities, vol. 13: 83-106.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2007. “Piety and Profit: Accounting for Money in West African Pentecostalism (Part 1)”, Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, vol. 48, nos 3 & 4, September & December: 621-632.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2008. A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power: A Study of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria, New Jersey: Africa World Press.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2005. The Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, 3rd ed., Abuja, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.

Ukah, Asonzeh. 2006. Nigerian Broadcasting Code, 4th ed., Abuja: National Broadcasting Commission.




How to Cite